Sunday, November 14, 2010

Writer's Block: fer realz

From Thomas Heggen's Wiki:

"Bewildered by the fame he had longed for and under pressure to turn out another bestseller, he found himself with a crippling case of writer's block. "I don't know how I wrote 'Mister Roberts'," he admitted to a friend. "It was spirit writing". He became an insomniac and tried to cure it with increasing amounts of alcohol and prescription drugs. On 19 May, 1949 Heggen drowned in his bathtub after an overdose of sleeping pills. His death was ruled a probable suicide, though he left no note and those close to him insisted it was an accident."

This also brings to mind Ross Lockridge, Jr.. It suspect they each had only One Great Book in them and they knew it. Such is a terrible fate.

Then I think of E.M. Forster, who had four Great Books [and one Good Book] in him, all of which he wrote before his forty fifth birthday, and then never wrote another for the last forty six years of his life, though he did continue to write short stories and essays and to teach writing. His Aspects of The Novel [1927] is the best of its type I have ever read.

I mainly aspire to be a Competent and Entertaining writer. If I can make a few bob off such, that would be lovely too. I doubt that I have a Great Book in me. If I do, it's likely some grueling autobiographical monstrosity that would run over a thousand pages and just the idea of facing something of that nature is enough to make me contemplate suicide. Let some other poor schmuck be the next fucking John Kennedy Toole. Hated that book anyway.

And there you have it...

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